A GOOD DAY TO WONDER

I was going to title this awkward post GOOD FRIDAY FARE, but thought better of it (a little too light to fill the bill). Or I could have titled it REALLY?. Really? I may be an ex-Catholic, but I still respect the meaning of Good Friday for the hundreds of millions who take the premise of this day at faith value. My breach of faith is not with the faithful, but with the premise of their faith — as explained in the poem which follows this paragraph of Christian apologia:

What’s So Good about Good Friday? asks Episcopal priest Justin Holcomb in a recent article. The origin of the term, he says, is debatable, but “Regardless of the origin, the name Good Friday is entirely appropriate because the suffering and death of Jesus, as terrible as it was, marked the dramatic culmination of God’s plan to save his people from their sins….all in accordance with what God had promised all along in the Scriptures.” We can all agree, can we not, with the gross understatement that people have been sinning since time immemorial? But….

DIDN’T THE ANCIENTS EVER WONDER?

One of the earliest questions which presented itself to my youthful mind was that of election: Why had God chosen the Jewish people as the sole recipients of  His divine revelation and of the messianic promise? By what creative caprice had he excluded all others? –Morris West, Catholic novelist & playwright (1916-99)

After the Lord God said Let there be light, there was no one
to share the scene. God looked down and beheld a creation
too wondrous to keep to Himself. Flesh forward.
Adam, meet Eve.
But, inevitably, Adam and Eve stray.
They have a bad day.
‘Twas the serpent, they say.

Boys and girls, welcome to hard times
where life becomes a chance bet
begetters scatter and beget
until they forget
without regret
where they came from and divine not
what they’re about

until at last there emerges a Chosen People on
whom it never dawns that revelation comes with
implications: were untold others not equally in need
of deliverance from their benighted nature? If
what you don’t know can’t hurt you, why now the
Voice in the wilderness….and if it can hurt you,
how was silence justified? You see we still live
in the shadows of tribal primitives, still die in
the wake of unasked questions….save for He who
would die to save us from our sins, without asking
if the creator was in need of saving from His own?

Did my poem blaspheme, or did it pose a serious question (or did it blaspheme in posing a serious question)? Does your answer depend on whether you believe in an ALL-PERFECT, ALL-LOVING GOD, a MIGHT-MAKES-RIGHT GOD, or NO GOD at all? How far would you go to try to convince or force (as if belief can be forced) others to believe as you do? Isn’t it sad enough when members of one family can’t agree to disagree, much less the human family writ large? How much longer would you and your god have the world pay the price of religion’s aggressive side?

Peace, however awkward, be with you on this Good Friday.

 

 

 

Advertisements

18 comments on “A GOOD DAY TO WONDER

  1. carmen says:

    Of course, the answer to your question, “Did my poem blaspheme, or did it pose a serious question (or did it blaspheme in posing a serious question)?” would be a resounding “YES!” to many people . . . those who believe in the myth will be insulted that you would even ask such a thing.
    But for me (having decided a few years ago that the whole thing is nothing more than a comforting ‘tale’ to many) it is a very insightful suggestion to all who read – please do consider the negativity associated with people’s religious beliefs.

    Let’s hope we all don’t get sucked into the great fight over whose invisible (and – I think – imaginary) god is the mightiest. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Michaeline says:

      Carmen makes a good point in saying our God may be is an invisible God. The ancient Jews rolled up their tents and gathered their other things, put it all on donkeys and headed out for the next oasis. No temples and no statues for them. Just 10 rules to live by and that was it in the beginning. God the Creator is more to my liking as he will not interfere in my life decisions. If I do wrong, there is Yom Kipper to make it right once a year. I live with the knowledge that I have a creative, intelligent mind and I let common sense be my guide .I was a serious Catholic like mistermuse and it was a fairly good experience until my ex divorced me.

      I did not know how vicious gossip among the church going ladies could make my Mother feel so bad. Then I researched many religions and found I liked Reform Judaism the best. It is a fact many millions of people fought and died in religious wars..Maybe that is why my husband and his three brothers are all atheists after being raised as Conservative Jews.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse says:

      Thank you for your thoughts, Carmen. It seems we both have no problem with religious beliefs per se – but when believing is held to be the same as knowing, each differing belief becomes an absolute, and when absolutes are pitted against each other – well, human nature being what it is, bad things happen, and agreeing to disagree is out of the question (because questioning is anathema to absolutes).

      Like

  2. Michaeline says:

    I like being a Reform Judaic Jewess. Became one after my studies with the rabbi. No one has all the answers about whether there is a God or not. My husband and his brothers were brought up as sons of a Conservative Jew. Once they grew up, attended college and worked diligently for a living, they became atheists. I like a religion where I can exercise my creative intelligence. I do not think mistermuse is guilty of blasphemy. He is sharing his thoughts and a very well written poem with us, Thank you, mistermuse

    Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse says:

      Thank you for your thoughts as well, Michaeline. What I said about respecting the Catholic faithful goes for the Jewish falthful as well, despite my profound differences with their faiths.

      Like

  3. Don Frankel says:

    Following up on what I was saying about screaming or praying, add writing.

    People are constantly manipulating people. For the greater good, of course. They use religion, politics, pills, potions and whatever they have because of course they are orchestrating the greater good. What is the greater good? That depends on each manipulator’s perception of it.

    As to what is truth? Your guess is as good as mine and anybody else’s. The brain like all the other organs in the body has it’s limitations. It can only do what it does. I don’t think its omniscient although some people think their’s is.

    Like I mentioned to you in the past I was brought up in an atheist household. My wife was a Catholic and because of that I read the Gospels and more than once. If you listen to the things Jesus says, actually says and not the centuries of other people’s interpretations of them, you can’t really go wrong in this life. Which is kind of amazing if you stop to think about it as it’s been a little shy of two thousand years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • carmen says:

      I agree to that last bit, Don (and who knows whether Jesus was divine or an apocalyptic preacher of his time?). Unfortunately, the imposter Paul got hold of the ‘gospel’.

      Like

  4. When you know, you do not have to believe. Because you know. You believe things that you do not actually know….you believe the authority, the expert, your own wish for how you want the world to be. In Belief are the seeds of violence. You find yourself needing to defend your belief against the unbelief of others. Other beliefs are an affront to the validity of your belief. You want others to lend greater credence to your belief by believing it along with you. Others may not want to share your belief, they may feel imposed- upon by your belief….this is the rising of conflict. Actuality is all that we know….the rest is silence. And belief.

    I remember–having been raised a Catholic—how we used to keep silent between noon and 3 o’clock on Good Friday. I don’t practice that religion anymore, but I put no label on myself in terms of belief or disbelief. As I accept the impossibility of absolute abstract answers, the same old questions seem to grow dimmer and dimmer and fade into the silence.

    Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse says:

      Well put, as always, Cynthia. The problem seems to be that, for too many people, there is no difference between believing and knowing….which, ironically, I believe qualifies as ignorance.

      It’s interesting to me that, as I get to know more of my readers better, I’m finding that more of them were once practicing Catholics. I guess, depending on the eye of the beholder, that makes us serious thinkers, or heretics, or feckless, or confused, or lost souls (whatever connotation the beholder puts on “lost soul”). I prefer to think that we’re multi-dimensional. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. mistermuse says:

    Perceptive words, Don. I would only add, “Amen.”

    Like

  6. arekhill1 says:

    Anything that ever happened to anybody else can happen to you. That’s the only thing that’s certain here, God, Jesus and Jews notwithstanding. Have a Good Friday every Friday is my motto, and my wishes for you, Sr. Muse and friends.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. mistermuse says:

    Since I retired from gainful employment, Friday is just like every other day — the same with Good Friday since I retired from Catholicism. So I thank you and wish you a good everyday today and every day, Ricardo.

    Like

  8. arekhill1 says:

    Saw on SWI that your sister passed, Sr. Muse. My sympathies.

    Like

  9. carmen says:

    Oh, Mister Muse – I am sorry to hear of her passing. 😦

    Like

  10. mistermuse says:

    Thank you both. She was 7+ years younger than I, and my only sibling. In this life, it seems that, sooner or later, time makes visitors of us all.

    Like

  11. restlessjo says:

    It’s good to think and question. I don’t do enough of either, being more of a head in the sand lady, but you raise some good points. 🙂 Hope Easter was peaceful for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. mistermuse says:

    Thank you. Perhaps it is just as well not to think and question too much, as we can tie ourselves into knots trying to find answers which are beyond our capacity to find. On the other hand, a guy or gal has to go where a guy or gal has to go, even if we end up back where we started! 🙂

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s